Gold prices steady, but off 9-month highs as dollar firms

Gold prices steady early on Monday as the dollar firmed, with the precious metal trading below an intra-day nine-month high hit on Friday when political and security concerns jangled investors’ nerves and stoked demand.

Gold prices steady

Spot gold was nearly unchanged at $1,283.30 an ounce by 0111 GMT, after surging to its highest in over nine months on Friday at $1300.80. US gold futures for December delivery slipped 0.2 per cent to $1,289.40 per ounce.

The dollar edged up in early Asian trading on Monday, moving tentatively away from the previous session’s four-month low against the yen when concerns that personnel changes at the White House weighed on expectations for US President Donald Trump’s ability to pass tax reform and stimulus steps.

US GDP growth

The New York Federal Reserve had on Friday raised its estimate of US gross domestic product growth for the third quarter above 2 per cent based on this week’s data on retail sales, industrial output and regional manufacturing.

The stock market’s steady rise, still low long-term bond yields and a generally sagging dollar are girding the Fed’s intent to raise interest rates again this year despite concerns about weak inflation, according to comments this week from Fed officials and analysts anticipating remarks next week by Chair Janet Yellen.

Sharia-compliant gold contract

The Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange and Saudi Arabian conglomerate Ayedh Dejem Group had said on Sunday they plan to develop and launch West Asia’s first sharia-compliant spot gold contract to be traded on an international exchange.

Gold prices in India were at their widest discount to international prices in 11 months on Friday due to sluggish demand and an influx of the precious metal sourced from South Korea.

SPDR Gold Trust , the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund,Gold prices steady said its holdings rose 0.48 per cent to 799.29 tonnes on Friday.

Hedge funds and money managers hiked their net long position in COMEX gold futures and options for a fifth straight week in the week to August 15, as geopolitical worries sent prices to a two-month high.

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